BETHLEHEM – A hunter found a badly decomposed body on Saturday, Dec. 2, halfway down the hill behind Hoffman Car Wash on Delaware Avenue.
Commander Adam Hornick said it is “too premature in the investigation to determine the race, age or gender of the decedent, and it is too premature to say the cause of death or the manner of death.”
The body was taken to Albany Medical Center Hospital and an autopsy is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 4, Hornick said.
The body is too so badly decomposed it is impossible to estimate at first glance how long it has been there, Hornick said.
It was found just a few hundred feet from a busy stretch of Delaware Avenue on top of the hill and not far from a public dog park, a private farm and nature trails along the Norms Kill Creek at
the bottom of the hill.
“Given the area it was located, we are not surprised it was not located before this time,” Hornick said. “It’s close to an area where people frequent but not right in the area. There are trails, but they are on both sides.”
Police had yellow tape running from the guardrail surrounding Hoffman’s parking lot to about half way down the hill.
Hornick would not comment on the personal effects and/or clothing found on or near the body, if any.
Police are looking at all open missing persons cases not only in Bethlehem but across the Capital District and beyond.
It is too early to determine if it is suspicious but State Police investigator Lt. Robert Appleton said it is “concerning.”
“Anytime a body is found in an area that is not normally traversed on a day-to-day basis is concerning,” he said at an impromptu press conference with Hornick outside the Bethlehem Police Department on Sunday.
Bethlehem police are being assisted by State Police, state Department of Environmental Conservation rangers and the Albany County District Attorney’s Office.
Investigators will be back searching the area on Monday.
More information as it becomes available.